Land Rover to bring three-door Freelander to U.S. later this year
Seeking to punch up lackluster U.S. sales of its Freelander model is one reason Land Rover is readying a three-door version for the U.S. market.
British sport/ute maker Land Rover will bring a three-door Freelander to the United States later this year. Andy Thomas, Land Rover’s U.S. Freelander model manager, says the company will begin production on a U.S. version of the three-door in September, with first deliveries slated for November.
Land Rover won’t say much about the U.S. model, but in Europe, where the vehicle is available as a hard top, soft top and in commercial trim, the three-door sells for £15,995 (about $23,000) for the low-end, four-cylinder model. The highest-end V6 model goes for £24,595 (about $35,000). Land Rover also sells a diesel version overseas. The five-door, all-wheel-drive Freelander, launched in December 2001, is sold only with a 2.5-liter V6 in the States and starts below $25,000.
The three-door Freelander joins the redesigned Range Rover and a freshened Discovery, due later this summer, in Land Rover showrooms in 2002. The three-door entry is a harbinger for more products to come: In January, Land Rover announced a $3.6 billion investment in future product over the next five years. Likely on the docket is an entry-level model dubbed “The Landie” —think a redo of the Defender—and a “baby” Range Rover (AW, May 28, 2001). Both are due by 2006.
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My next Ford.....